How to immediately update Flash in Chrome

Adobe Flash player v10 icon
Credit: Adobe Systems

For years now, the Chrome browser has reported that it was up to date, even when there was an old copy of the Flash Player embedded in the browser.

I mention this now, because Adobe released a new version of the Flash player today, one that fixes 13 bugs, many of them critical. The usual method of forcing a Chrome update (Help -> About Google Chrome) on Windows and OS X/macOS may or may not update Flash. 

You can, however, force Chrome to update Flash by entering 

chrome://components

in the browser address bar. Look for the Adobe Flash Player in the list of components. Ignore the status. If the version is anything other than 24.0.0.221, it needs to be updated.

Click on the gray "Check for Update" button and the update happens in a flash (sorry). If you look closely, the status goes from "component downloading" to "update ready" to "Component updated." It literally takes a second. 

If all went well, the version should now be 24.0.0.221.

When I first wrote about this last year, I noted that Flash can not be updated this way on Chrome OS. This is still true. 

I just checked two Chromebooks. Each was running Chrome OS version 55.0.2883.105 and each claimed that "Your Chromebook is up to date" despite using Flash version 24.0.0.186 which was released back on December 13, 2016.

I guess it depends on your definition of "date". 

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